This afternoon, while I was in the supermarket, I saw the lady who used to do my father’s in-home care until he moved into residential care in May.
We started charting, and it became evident that she didn’t know the details of his passing in June. Somewhat surprised by that, I told her of his decline over the last few days of his life, and of my honour and privilege in holding him in my arms as he died.
As the conversation wound down, I thanked her again for taking care of Dad, and for taking the time to stop and chat with me about him. We both blinked back tears, and then we parted ways.
I had held my emotions together while we were talking, but had a bit of a cry to myself in the otherwise empty pet supplies aisle a couple of rows over. I told myself I should not feel silly, nor should I try to hide my feelings. It had been a while since I’d had a cry, and it was probably healthy to let it go.
Still, standing among the bags of cat and dog food and kitty litter in the supermarket probably wasn’t the best place for it.
I thought I had got away with out anyone else noticing, but a lovely young man who worked in the store approached me and asked if I were okay. I told him I would be, I just needed to pull myself together. I managed a weak smile, hoping it would be enough to reassure him.
He smiled back and handed me a little purse pack of Kleenex. I realise that may not sound like much, but it was an act of kindness that brightened an otherwise miserable moment, and one for which I am very thankful.
I’m also thankful for the reminder that it doesn’t always take much to make a difference in someone’s day.
As the popular saying goes, “in a world where you can be anything you want to be… be kind.”
It occurred to me as I was writing this post that this is the second time in recent months that I’ve been surprised by the kindness of a young person when they’ve seen my tears. That thought made me smile again.
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